Do We Still Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone? [OPINION]
It used to be that businesses could choose who they wanted to do business with and those they didn't, but after today's Colorado Supreme Court ruling it looks like we no longer reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that the Denver-area baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple, can not refuse service based on religious beliefs because it would lead to discrimination. It's possible this case could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to an Associated Press report from the Huffington Post, Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop faces a fine if he refuses to make cakes for gay couples in the future. Unquestionably, the ruling has far-reaching implications.
What about restaurants that refuse to serve people who aren't properly attired? Is this not discriminatory against people who can't afford nice clothes? Will they, too, be forced to serve anyone who walks in the door regardless of how they are dressed?
What about the popular "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" sign we often see in restaurants. They can cite health concerns and mandates as the reason, but that does not diminish the fact that there is discrimination against people that don't wear a shirt or shoes.
You don't see it as much anymore, but, no doubt, we have all seen restaurant signs that say "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone." Those signs don't usually specify who exactly service would be refused, but the signs imply the business will choose with whom they would like to transact business.
At least in Colorado, in light of this Supreme Court ruling, those signs should be coming down. The message from the court is clear. Businesses do not reserve the right to refuse service to any customer. They are no longer free to decide who they want to do business with and who they don't. The courts are going to tell us what types of discrimination are okay and which aren't.
It's a demonstration of the further erosion of the freedom and liberties this great country was founded on. While we have now given gay couples the freedom and the right to get married, the Colorado Supreme Court has stripped Colorado businesses of the freedom and right to choose who their customers are.
Do we still reserve the right to refuse service to anyone? It looks like those days may be over.
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